Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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MPI Kolloquium

Wednesday, 23.11.2011 16 c.t.

Evolution of Biological Complexity

by Prof. Raymond E. Goldstein
from Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Centre for Mathematical Science, University of Cambridge, UK

Contact person: Jan Nagler

Location

Ludwig Prandtl lecture hall

Abstract

It is a general rule of nature that larger organisms are more complex, at least as measured by the number of distinct types of cells present. This reflects the fitness advantage conferred by a division of labor among specialized cells. Yet, increasing size has both costs and benefits, and the search for understanding the driving forces behind the evolution of multicellularity has become a very active area of research. This talk will present an overview of recent experimental and theoretical work aimed at understanding this biological problem from the perspective of physics. A number of challenging problems in fluid dynamics, nonlinear dynamics, and control theory emerge when one probes the workings of the simplest multicellular organisms.

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